Level: Airship
Level: Blackwall Yard
Level: Embankment
Level: Catacombs

Chapter 5: Agamemnon Rising

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Rising Action

Galahad rejoins Malory and Isabeau, who are overseeing the evacuation of passengers via lifeboat.

Though Lord Hastings is grateful for the rescue, Alastair is incensed that he and the knights' council were not made aware of the imminent threat of Rebel attack. He authorizes Malory to search for the Rebel bomber in an effort to head off a major calamity.

Isabeau is ordered to reach Lafayette and ensure he gets away safely. Galahad joins Malory and the two begin to head aft, looking for signs of Rebel activity. They soon find a dead guard and follow the trail to the airship's kitchens.


Gameplay Video

 
Intent

The lifeboats, which I designed to match the game director's goal "looking like a deathtrap; as likely to kill you as to save your life," were inspired by the cages used on a particular type of ferris wheel (as well as having clear antecedents in hot air balloon baskets).

Adding to the feeling of danger is the launching mechanism I conceived—when the lever is pulled, the platform beneath the lifeboat drops freely, its hinged edge creating a ramp, and tracks on the underside of the lifeboats allowing gravity to slide the basket down and away from the ship ...with the side-effect of tilting the lifeboat and its human cargo at a perilous angle.



The earliest design for the lifeboats called for them to be launched such that the player's view of them and the surrounding sky would be minimal. No doubt this would have been easier, but I advocated to my team the importance of seeing outside with some frequency to reinforce in the player's mind that the action was taking place aboard an airship. Without these reminders, the level might as well be set in the hallways of a hotel or an underground base—something plenty of other games have done—whereas giving the player a truly immersive feeling of being high in the sky could be unique to our game.

In addition, sections that followed this (the lounge, the catwalks) had always been part of the plan and necessitated at least a 180-degree view of the sky, so the problem couldn't be avoided—the vista was going to have to be created, so why not reuse it here to good effect?

I'm proud of my work on many sections of this level, but I am exceptionally proud of this sequence, which I feel is unforgettable in achieving the immersive "filmic" blend of gameplay and cinematic that was the operating principle for The Order: 1886.






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